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Carole Fleck


As a senior editor for AARP Media, I cover personal finance issues, the economy, older worker issues, retirement planning and other news affecting people 50-plus.

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Carole Fleck'sPosts

IRS: Someone Will Be With You … Sometime Today

Posted on 02/17/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Money & SavingsHello, IRS? Is anyone there? That’s what you might be asking if you call the IRS with questions about your 2013 tax return. The agency says today starts one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for the IRS phone lines. So make yourself comfortable and settle in. You’re likely to be on hold longer than the 17.6 minutes customers waited last year to speak with someone. You think that’s bad? Some 20 million people, or 39 percent …

AOL Reverses 401(k) Policy After Blowback

Posted on 02/10/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Money & SavingsLike boomers (and all workers, for that matter) don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to saving enough for retirement. Now actions by AOL’s Tim Armstrong may be setting a dangerous example for other companies to follow. First, the chief executive of AOL told employees Thursday he was changing the company’s 401(k) match to a year-end lump sum contribution rather than contributions throughout the year. Leave before Dec. 31, 2014 (voluntarily or involuntarily), and you lose out on …

Older Job Seekers Have Little Patience for Long Search

Posted on 02/6/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

WorkWhen it comes to the stressful search for a job, older workers apparently have less tolerance for the process. Most either land a job or stop searching altogether within a year or less, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Those who have employer-paid pensions, retirement assets and Social Security to rely on were more likely to end the job hunt even sooner, usually within four months, the study found. In fact, just being eligible …

Tools to Shore Up Retirement Savings

Posted on 01/23/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Money & SavingsThe road to retirement may seem uncomfortably short, particularly if you’re in your 50s and haven’t saved much. The latest Federal Reserve data shows that households with people ages 55 to 64 have accumulated a median $120,000 in retirement savings. That amounts to about $400 to $500 a month in income, according to a CNBC report, on top of the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,294. If you’re 10 to 15 years out from your projected retirement date, it’s …

Timing of Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Plans Questioned

Posted on 01/15/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIf you have a 401(k) or other retirement plan, you may be waiting even longer before new government standards are imposed that require your financial adviser to act in your best interest. The U.S. Department of Labor was in the final stages of preparing a proposal that would establish a so-called fiduciary standard for retirement plan advisers, which means they’d be required to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own when offering investment advice. A number of consumer groups …

Boomers Downbeat Over Financial Future

Posted on 01/13/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsWith her wavy long hair, bell-bottom jeans and a peace sign hanging from her neck, Rita Beck was much like other boomer women who came of age in the trippy, turbulent 1960s and 1970s. They attended college in record numbers, seized job opportunities their mothers never had and reveled in their independence. “Our parents scrimped for everything,” says Beck, 58, of Janesville, Wis.  “We boomers came on the scene and said, ‘Who needs to save for a house when you …